• Edward Snowden spoke at Consensus 2023 about artificial intelligence and how it could be used for surveillance.
• He called out OpenAI’s “cruel joke” in branding itself with the name it did, as well as Stable Diffusion deliberately crippling its training set.
• Snowden believes AI is very difficult to handle legislatively, and corporations and governments have distinct advantages in the field.
Edward Snowden at Consensus 2023
Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden spoke at Consensus 2023 regarding the latest developments in artificial intelligence, and how it could be leveraged for both human flourishing and greater surveillance.
OpenAI & Stable Diffusion
Snowden called out OpenAI’s “cruel joke” in branding itself with the name that it chose, given that it won’t provide open access to its training data. He also said that Stable Diffusion is guilty of similar activity, deliberately crippling its training set from version 1.5 to 2.0 because of moral panics and various accusations.
Snowden believes AI is very difficult to handle legislatively. Corporations and governments are increasingly observing the public, making people more “legible” and “malleable.” These entities have distinct advantages in the AI field thanks to the vast data centers they have access to about citizen behavior.
Better Than Us
On a brighter note, Snowden believes many of AI’s errors can be fixed. In his view, the primary mistake AI developers are making is trying to teach their machines to learn like us; rather he believes AI should be “better than us.”
Snowden said that people will wave a red flag about software communism – where models must be open – however this would still put liability on those who use them instead of those who create them (like guns).